tv Mc Laughlin Group PBS October 28, 2012 3:30pm-4:00pm PDT
from washington, the mclaughlin group, the american original. for over three decades, the hardest talk. this land is your land, this land is my land, from california to the new york island. >> monday night, third and final presidential debate was on foreign policy. and the most sensitive and dangerous foreign policy issue, which is the bomb. >> as long as i'm president of the united states iran will not get a nuclear weapon. >> a nuclear iran number clear capable iran is unacceptable to americ israel. and if israel is attacked, we have their back.
>> if israel is attacked, america will stand with israel. president obama and governor romney were largely in agreement on a range of foreign policy concerns. particularly those centering on the middle east. the ouster of former president mubarak of egypt, the 2014 exit date for afghanistan, the killing of terrorists with nutes romney and obama echoed each other. >> question. is bipartisanship now back in style at least when it comes to foreign policy in a presidential debate? pat buchanan? >> no it isn't but they are moving toward consensus where the american people are at. they are both pro israel, going to stand beside them. both very hawkish toward iran, although they don't want war in the middle east again. they don't want boots on the ground. they both say we have to do nation building here at home because that is the consensus
where the american people are at john. but i wouldn't call it bipartisanship. romney lost this debate on points but he won it because he contradicted the image barack obama has sought to portray of him, reckless, bombing people, putting troops in syria. that is why you are seeing the steady momentum of romney which as of today puts him up in the gallup poll 5. >> el more? >> you can cite the national poll all you want but the election is all about ohio and the president is still doing well there. mr. romney went into this debate not wanting to win, and he didn't. but he wanted to reassure people he wasn't going back to the george w. bush ollis policies. no more iraqs. and he wanted to assure women he was not a war monger. >> uh-huh. >> talking about a peaceful planet and gender quality in the middle east. it is astounding how he has
shifted his policies. in fairness he has two sets of advisers. reasonable people working for him and some who would like to reenact the bush years. i think he hears from beth the realists and that additionallists won out certainly in this debate. >> i notes you characterized him as mr. romney. the president did that also during the debate. >> governor romney. >> are you trying to deny him his honor , which trails him after leaving office. >> i was just helping him out. >> what are you saying? >> i thought obama was lucky romney didn't feel in a position to hit president obama on his weaknesses. i thought president obama went into libya without congressional authority. that was illegal. president obama has done this drone war, where he has a kill list of people who he himself decides this guy might be a terrorist, we are going to kill him. judge, jury, executioner. all sorts of weaknesses in
obama's record but to attack it you would have to attack it from the more dovist side. >> do you think that president obama and governor romney's positions on foreign policy are pretty much identical? >> well i think they are identical to some extent for the purposes of this campaign. i don't think they are going to be identical in terms of execution. i think each side had a particular agenda here. romney's agenda frankly was not to look as if he was attacking the president publicly on this thing in a nasty way and trying to come across as a decent man, not a war monger, looking to have a pragmatic approach to it. i think he succeeded. obama made his points i thought a little too aggressively and in a hospital still man year did he glare at him. >> i don't know i would call it a glare but it certainly wasn't a friendly look. >> do you think he was trying to disarm romney with the intense it of that glare? >> trying to provoke him john. trying to provoke and push and
prod romney to come off as reckless. but the president hurt himself in this sense. he is depreciating the two assets he has, the presidency, the head of state and the like ability thing. he probably won on points but he is now down at the same level. >> he had some great lines that make him more likable to his base, and he had to fight. every focus group. >> the battleship. >> that was a great line a. every focus group you watch people worry he doesn't have enough backbone, he is not tough enough. he had to show that, especially after that debate. secondly, why didn't governor romney prosecute the case on benghazi? pat and everybody else has been full saying it for the last two weeks. he wisely stayed away from that because it is a pretty made up story frankly. >> what do you mean it is a
made up story. >> they are trying to pretend the white house was lying and covering up which shows the complete ignorance of how intelligence is gathered and how the government is operated. >> we are going off on this story again. >> they said we have no intelligence indicating it was a terrorist attack. surely some intelligence might have been different earlier than later. but they did have some. they had intelligence on both sides. they misled the country. >> we are going to get into that next week where i a document i want to produce. the obama romney exchange on syria. >> what we have done is organize the international community. saying assad has to go and we are helping the opposition organize it. but ultimately syrians are going to have to determine their own future. >> i don't want to have our military involved in syria and our objectives are to replace assad and have in place a new government which is friendly to us and i want to make sure they get armed and they have arms necessary to defend themselves
but also to remove assad. >> question. the candidates agreed assad must go. is seeing assad go the best outcome in syria? mort? >> yeah, without question. but he is not going to leave gently, going gently into the night. it is very easy to say we are going to leave it up to the syrian people but the syrian military and syrian forces after saddam have all the he weapons. it is a completely unbalance ad approach and therefore an ineffective way of policy of trying to get him out. we are going to have to find other ways to pressure assad and pressure his supporters not to support him. >> you know how complicated the population is in syria? >> oh, yeah. >> you have got also sunnis and shiite. >> and about 20 jews living in syria, is that correct? a small population. >> formerly they were jews. >> it is so complicated, some
may think what is the new, which we hear nothing about, the new, assigned person by the un to go into syria and see if he can't work out a de take the form of partition? >> well any form is going to be better than what's going on now, which is a huge number of people have died, over 30,000 people have died. this is really a tragedy for the syrian people and nobody knows quite how to intervene in a way to push assad out. they thought they had a better chance, they thought he was on the run, but he doesn't seem to be and nobody is willing to go in there and. >> would the israelis want to see assad go? >> they do. what they don't want to see is the muslim brotherhood to take over in syria. >> don't you think a partition might be the way to go? split up syria? >> that is fine but there is no way of doing that. >> well the kurds will break loose and get with the kurds in iraq and try to create an
independent. >> the kurds are not going to accept it. >> the turks won't accept an independent occurred stan in iraq. >> one reason romney was less bell koas is he is now getting security briefings. he understands how complicated these issues are. he was much more direct about the arms ending up in the wrong hands. >> romney concurred with barack obama in thinking assad must go. i'm attacking the proposition is that the best way? >> i would not like to see the u.s. propping up assad. that is ludicrous, john. >> before you jump too deeply into that pond. >> what is going to succeed him john? you have the muslim brotherhood there, al qaeda is on our side,
jihaddists pouring in from all over the place. again if he doesn't go soon this thing is spreading into jordan and turkey. you remember the five boys produced by the seniors in that family, five boys and he was one of them. he was studying dentistry in london. >> he has a brother maybe mort knows more about ita ruthless character. >> married, lovely wife right? >> yeah but people have given up on him as a quote reformer a long time ago. >> he is not a reformer. >> if there is any goodness left in the man, he has been directed by everybody else. >> if he goes down his people go down. john they go to the wall. they are 12%, sheer shiite, the sunni war? >> a sectarian civil war. >> if it is a civil war we are going to stay out. >> no we didn't stay out of libya. >> i think we are being pulled in.
>> you think there is any sentiment in the united states to go into syria? >> not in the united states and i'm against it but we could get pulled in. the whole thing is spreading. the turks are going to be involved. >> the turks are not going to be involved. the president has spoken emfatly about that over there. >> they are involved right now. >> because of the penetration of a body border here and there. >> they have kurds in turkey rising up. this whole thing is in real danger issue two. china syndrome. >> china's both an adversary, but also a potential partner in the international community, if it's following the rules. so my attitude, coming into office, was that we are going to insist that china plays by the same rules as everybody else. >> that is why on day one i will label them a currency manipulator, which allows us to apply tariffs where they are taking jobs.
they are stealing our intellectual properties, patents, designs, technology, hacking into our computers, counterfeiting our goods. >> our trade with china suffers from two realities and the disparity between them, namely china's trade surplus and america's deficit. this problem drew similar responses from both candidates. president obama emphasized his record of bringing cases against china to the world trade organization, the wto, while seeking redress for unfair trade practices. governor romney emphasized his plan of levying tariffs against chinese imports to the u.s. if china persists refusing to follow international trade rules. >> question. both president obama's and governor romney's positions on china are they solid and presidential in scope and in
content? tim? >> it is silly politics. this is what every politician does. they campaign like pat buchanan, frankly, as a nationalist, and they govern as free traders as internationalists. these guys are not going to wage a trade war in china this is tough talk to win ohio. >> you want to defend yourself. >> i am an economic patriot and economic nationalist and obama is using my phrase. but i believe romney has gotten himself out to a point with this occurrence manipulator he is going to have to follow through on it. i agree with governor romney here. the chinese are themselves economic nationalists. they steal our property, they do everything under the guise of criminal activity which is what it is and the use does not have a way to fight back. we ought to go back to tariffs and cut taxes on our own manufacturing. >> getting tough on china is campaign rhetoric on romney's behalf. if he gets elected smart
advisors will say we can't do this. maybe he will call them names. that is about all he will do. there are bankers, we are not they are our bankers, we are not in a strong position. who pays the price? the american consumer and american economy. >> we have an enormous trade surplus at our expense. >> mort, what is the answer? >> the fact is romney is right in this sense. they have consistently for decades kept their currency devalued in order to magnify their exports. sell them at cheaper prices. we have been protest that go for decades. when romney can do anything about that i don't know. but the real question is how do you deal in chin with this way without getting into a trade war which would be damaging to both sides? that is going to take real diplomacy and pressure with china. >> in a trade war, who wins mort? >> we do. we have a trade deficit with them of $300 billion a year. >> you can no more win a trade
war than you can win an earthquake. everybody knows that. >> nobody will win in a trade war. but we've got to find some better way of balancing the trade. as pat says we have huge deficits in trade with china for decades and a good part of the reason is not because they have a very low wage cost including for a lot of american products but the fact is they keep their currency low to magnify their exports. >> the u.s. cannot win without china and china cannot win without the united states? >> true or false? >> no. >> true or false? >> i think the chinese leadership understand this is largely rhetoric. >> eleanor > issue three, pug t rules. >> throughout this week's presidential debate, there were flare ups. challenge mitt romney described what he see as how sitting president barack obama, during his four years, has conducted
himself overseas. >> then the president began what i have called an apology tour of going to various nations in the middle east and criticizing america. i think they looked at that and saw a weakness. >> wait a minute, says president obama. that is bs. >> nothing governor romney just said is true, starting with this notion of me apologizing. this has been probably the biggest whopper that has been told during the course of this campaign. >> on arabic tv you said america had been dismiss i have and dericesive. you said america has dictated other nations. mr. president we have not dictated to other nations we have freed other nations from dictators. > >> who was more pug gnashes, romney or obama? >> i don't know but i thought romney won that little exchange. he came across a lot better than the president did. >> i beg to differ. this business of the apology tour is a big lie that romney has been promoting. he titled his book to that.
every fact checker that looks, i know you laugh at the fact checkers. if they say it enough time everybody who is going to vote for romney is going to believe the president apologized. they have been pushing this narrative ever since he made a speech in cairo, that is in and of itself is somehow condescending to the rest of the world. >> he never actually said i'm sorry for what we did. maybe groveling tour is a better word. in france he said americans have not recognize this had magnificent union and we have been arrogant. he also made comments along the lines of this iraq, basically attacking the iraq war on foreign soil. he goes out and he says we have not been and we have dictated to other countries. >> oh yes and romney's direct approach with the allies was so much wrong. >> another flare up. >> our navy is smaller now than anytime since 1917. the navy said they needed 313 ships to carry out their
mission. we are now down to 285 headed to the low 200s if we go through a sequestration. that is unacceptable to me. >> governor we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed. we have these things aircraft carriers where planes land a little bit obama. >> 663 in the pentagon. >> they are all sharp too, the women. >> romney made a very good point. >> that is actually the wall street journal. >> reagan had a 600 ship navy. it is now down to fewer than 300. also the american people talking straight politics, you tell them we are going to build up our ships that is very positive with the american people in terms of defense. i think you ought to have a 300 ship navy because we are going to be bringing the troops home.
>> first of all the president is right when he says you don't count ships you count the effectiveness of the navy and of the entire military force. what romney is doing is he is appealing to the ship building facilities in virginia. it is campaign rhetoric, not a realistic defense. >> eleanor, once again eleanor is right. >> thank you, tim. >> it is military industrial king pinnism. george allen is doing it in virginia and now romney is doing it. >> we need more ships to make more jobs. >> you sound like obama when you are saying we need more ships to make more jobs. >> we do need ships to defend american interests abroad. >> do we have enough as obama says we have? >> i think we ought to modernize the navy and stay at 300 ships but bring the troops out of places like the middle east, central asia, bring them home. >> the current batch of ships we have are so big and so powerful. >> we used to have 15 carriers, we have now got 11.
>> so multi-usable we don't need all that. >> we take ten ships with every i are craft carrier what are you talking about? >> i think romney won the exchange on the navy. >> you do? >> yes, i do. >> on the ships? >> yes. >> what was the most defining moment in the third and final debate? pat buchanan? >> bayonets and horses i guess john. and that tells me that barack obama was fairly petty. >> no, it was when the president said when he visited israel as a candidate he didn't take along fundraisers and didn't hold fundraisers there. >> it was obama's juvenile joke about the 1980s and the remark about issue four. give peace a chance. we note the passing this week of former presidential candidate and long serving u.s. senator george mcgovern. the south dakota senator was a
world war ii veteran, and prominent peace advocate. at the height of the street name war in 1972, senator mcgovern ran against incumbent president richard nixon. he lost in a landslide but went on to a long and distinguished career in the u.s. senate. senator mcgovern's spirit may have fortified mitt romney during the debate. >> let me step back and talk about what i think our mission has to be in the middle east and even more broadly. because our purpose is to make sure the world is peaceful. we want a peaceful planet. we want people to be able to enjoy their lives and know they are going to have a bright and prosperous future and not be at war. that is our purpose. and the mantle of leadership for promoting the principles of peace has fallen to america w didn't ask for it but it is an honor. for us to promote peace require to be strong. that begins with a strong economy here at home. >>a
credible peace ni k? >> i think he does, not for the reasons, he does research before he makes decisions, he won't be motivated by this vision of bring democracy to the world. i think on the score of keeping us out of unnecessary wars, i believe romney. >> if senator mcgovern has a political or intellectual heir on that debate stage it would be barack obama who was talking about we need to nation build at home. i went to his 90th birthday in washington here in july, and he was frail, but he was very feisty and looking forward to turning 100. now that didn't happen, but his legacy, he joined with bob dole on food issues and bob dole wrote a really beautiful tribute to mcgovern. these two men really got along
and mcgovern was never bitter about the defeat that he suffered, much of it because of the dirty tricks on the part of richard nixon. and he had every right to say i told you so but he never did. >> wait a minute, he worked for richard nixon and so did i. >> right and you worked it make sure mcgovern didn't get a fair shake. >> i didn't do anything like that. i know some people. >> some other people might have. >> john the dirty tricks frankly the things were done to knock off all the competitors to senator mcgovern. >> senator, you take a look at some of his rhetoric back in '72, i'll crawl on my knees, turned off an enormous number in the country. but he was basically a good man. he was a bomber pilot in world war ii. he hated war and i do think his leadership was something like gold water's. he was the representative of a
movement culturally and socially that has come to dominate american culture now, even though its time had not yet come in 1972. >> with american veterans, romney pulls stronger than the president. can you explain that? >> well yeah. i mean veterans do tend to be more republican and i think that he is seen as a capable, smart man who will make prudent decisions i don't we have since we did it in the nixon white house john. campaigned in 1968 on all volunteer army on our libertarian moments. >> have you read any recent pieces on the manner in which we have failed to take care of those who have come back with various disorders it is very heart rending and maddening. >> we should find a way to take care of the people who served this country in war and indeed
in peace and the military. >> we talk about posttraumatic syndrome, and a variety of mental disorders. >> a good reason not to get in any more wars, is it not? >> you bet. now who is? >> i liked romney's statement, i thought it was excellent. >> do you think romney, as i said earlier, don't you think he enjoys more widespread support from the community of veterans here, and veterans's families? >> he has taken up the reagan eisenhower peace through strength which is exactly the right position for the party. >> but if the people he's got advising him, many of them do want to bring back some of the bell cosseyty of the bush years. i don't trust anything romney sayson unemployment in america. it's now at 7.8. i predict, as per mort, it will
be at 8.0 or 8.1. >> did you read what the former president of general electric said about those numbers? he said california had not predicted its numbers and the number was 7.9. >> jack welsh said. >> he appeared to be right because california didn't get in their numbers. compound good t. richard murdoch the republican candidate in indiana for the senate was underscored nervousness among women about what a republican take over of the congress and a republican in compared to 2008. ghts. >> most i italian stocks will stabilize and rally much like